Léonard Boudin, maître in 1761.
Nicolas Petit, maître in 1761.
Sébastien Vié, maître in 1767.
Charles Topino, maître in 1773.
The present lot is closely related to the table à écrire commissioned by Marie-Antoinette for Versailles. Almost certainly supplied by Topino between 1774-1776 and paid for from the Queen's cassette privée, it is first recorded by the ébéniste Paquet in 1784 and listed as 'une table de placage chinois' in the appartements de la Reine. This commission by the Queen is most certainly explained by her engoûment for the table à écrire supplied in 1774 to the Comte d'Artois, future Charles X, also by Topino (A. Pradère, Les Ébénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, p.320).
These tables à écrire are decorated with naïve marquetry of vases, urns and amphoras, tea caddies, and flower bouquets, reminiscent of Chinese coromandel lacquer and porcelain from the Kangxi period (1662-1722). This type of marquetry, omnipresent in Topino's oeuvre, was not exclusive to the ébéniste. Among those using related marquetry, is Sébastien Vié, who collaborated on the manufacture of one of the present tables à écrire. Vié's production includes a related table with mounts and marquetry à cinq vases, sold from the Sir Charles Clore collection, Christie's, Monaco, 6 December 1985, lot 41.
Topino supplied marquetry to marchands-merciers and fellow ébénistes such as Pioniez (maître in 1765) and Nicolas Petit, who collaborated on the manufacture of one of the tables in this lot. Marchands-ébénistes such as Léonard Boudin who probably retailed these tables, also commissioned marquetry from Topino. The two collaborated very closely and Boudin's livre de commandes refers to a significant number of tables à marquetrie de vases, supplied by Topino between 1772 and 1774. As a specialist marqueteur, Topino's oeuvre was often obscured by the work of his fellow ébénistes. The fact that Topino mass-produced marquetry panels and supplied furniture to other ébénistes may explain the latter's estampilles on Topino's productions, and in some instances, the stamp of the marchand or ébéniste having commissioned his work alongside Topino's.
Two closely related tables à écrire attributed to Topino and retailed by Boudin, were sold at Christie's, London, 11 June 1998, lot 35 (£53,200), and 9 December 2004, lot 29. A further related table attributed to Topino is illustrated in G. Wannenes, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIeme siècle, Milan, 1998, p.194, and another, featuring a galleried gradin, is now in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.